Arizona Drone Laws
State Rules and Regulations
Federal airspace laws take precedence over state drone laws. If a state or local law directly conflicts with FAA regulations, the state or local law is likely to be invalidated.
Arizona’s law uses the terms model aircraft, civil unmanned aircraft, and public unmanned aircraft to describe drones as used for different purposes.
Model aircraft: an unmanned aircraft that is “capable of sustained flight in the atmosphere; flown within visual line of sight of the person operating the aircraft; and flown for hobby or recreational purposes.” (Hobby)
Civil unmanned aircraft: “an unmanned aircraft or unmanned
aircraft system that is operated by a person for any purpose other than strictly for hobby or recreational purposes, including commercial purposes, or in the furtherance of or incidental to any business or media service or agency.” (Commercial)
Public unmanned aircraft: an unmanned aircraft “operated by
a public agency for a government-related purpose.” (Government/Law Enforcement)
Unmanned aircraft: “an aircraft, including an aircraft commonly known as a drone, that is operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft.”
“Critical facility” means any of the following:
13-3729. - Unlawful operation of model or unmanned aircraft; state preemption; classification; definitions
The operation of a model aircraft or civil unmanned aircraft is a class 1 misdemeanor if it is:
Class 1 misdemeanor is the most serious misdemeanor offense and is punishable by up to 6 months in jail, 3 years of probation and a $2,500 fine plus surcharges.
The operation or use of an unmanned aircraft to photograph or linger over or near a critical facility in the furtherance of a crime is a class 6 felony, except that a second or subsequent violation is a class 5 felony.
Class 6 felonies are punishable up to 2 years in prison.
28-8242. - Powers and duties
28-8280. - Careless or reckless aircraft operation; violation; classification; definitions
A person who operates an aircraft (model aircraft and civil unmanned aircraft) in the air, on the ground or on the water in a careless or reckless manner that endangers the life or property of another is guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor.
In determining whether the operation was careless or reckless, the court shall consider the standards for safe operation of aircraft prescribed by federal statutes or regulations governing aeronautics.